Sunday, December 6, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: HAYATE THE COMBAT BUTLER Volume 35


MANGAKA: Kenjiro Hata
LETTERS: John Hunt
EDITOR: Shaenon K. Garrity
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0567-2; paperback (February 2020); Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
192pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

Hayate the Combat Butler is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kenjiro Hata.  It was serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine from October 2004 to April 2017.  VIZ Media has been publishing an English-language edition of the manga as a paperback graphic novel series under its “Shonen Sunday” imprint since November 2006.

Hayate the Combat Butler focuses on Hayate Ayasaki.  He begins working to pay off his degenerate parents' gambling debts when he is nine.  Before they disappear, his parents sell their son’s organs to the yakuza to cover their debts.  Hayate is working various part-time jobs to pay off the debts when fate brings Hayate to teenage heiress, Nagi Sanzenin a/k/a “Ojô-sama.”  She is the frequent target of kidnapping plots and of various schemes by people trying to get her money.  Hayate becomes Ojô-sama’s butler, zealously protecting her, while she falls in love with him.

Hayate the Combat Butler, Vol. 35 finds pop idol, Ruka Suirenji, ready to reveal to Hayate that she has a crush on him, but should she?  Ruka asks Ishizawa for advice, but Ishizawa also has a crush on Hayate?  So will Ishizawa help a love rival, and if she does, what form will the help take?

When the housemates discover that Katsura Hinagiku was once an aspiring guitarist and singer, how will they get the dispirited talent to take up her dreams again?  Then, Maria-san decides to take Nagi to a family restaurant … because it is the perfect place for Nagi to work on her manga.  Or is it?  Finally, everyone is worried that Ruka is too stressed, which is manifesting via physical ailments.  But she isn't the only one in need of a break from work.  So is Hayate.  When they find themselves alone, what will they do to relieve the stress?

[This volume includes a bonus manga, four-panel comics, and art.]

THE LOWDOWN:  I have managed to read the Hayate the Combat Butler manga four times this calendar year.  I am always happy to return to this manga and anime parody series.

Hayate the Combat Butler Graphic Novel Volume 35 is the reason I keep coming back, just as Vol. 34 was.  Vol. 35 is one of the series' best entries, making the previous two-volumes a dynamic duo, and the final story page of this volume surprised me.  I noticed the theme of “in love with Hayate.”  After all, creator Kenjiro Hata has made just about every female character in this manga in love with Hayate.  So everything goes along as normal, with each chapter being, more or less, self-contained.  Then, BAM! goes the shocker, and it is something that Hata does so well when he does present it – the Hayate the Combat Butler cliffhanger.  Dear readers, we gotta come back for more.

Also, I must mention John Werry, who provides a sparkling translation that captures the freshness of Vol. 34.  Then, there is letterer John Hunt's spry fonts that capture the romantic fun and games.  So, let's get to the next volume.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Readers looking for comedy can find laughs in the “Shonen Sunday” manga, Hayate the Combat Butler.

9.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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